Electronics+Navigations

While your smartphone or tablet will never take the place of your other onboard electronics, it never hurts to have a backup. Loading up with a bunch of apps to help you get from point A to point B can also be a lot of fun, whether you’re underway or planning your next cruise from the comfort of your office or living room. Here are a few we’d recommend.
Some might say that seamanship has been sidelined by technology, with safety and security more dependent on button pushing than sail changing. There may be some truth to this. But at the same time, there’s no question that today’s technology does fill some very real needs. 

Clear and Simple AIS

by Adam Cort, Posted June 13, 2012
Vesper Marine’s WatchMate Vision Class B AIS transponder is a self-contained AIS transceiver with a built-in GPS and a Wi-Fi hub that allows iPhone and iPad users to remotely access AIS info from anywhere on the boat.

Rock-Steady Night Vision

by Adam Cort, Posted June 12, 2012
Like its predecessors, the FLIR M618CS night-vision scope’s ability to create thermal images by discerning miniscule changes in the temperature is quite astounding.

Make Your Wi-Fi Float

by Ralph Naranjo, Posted June 12, 2012
When it comes to Wi-Fi’s role in shuttling navigation and performance data around a boat, there are two schools of thought. One approach lashes a wireless router to a proven digital charting system; the other links Wi-Fi capability to an iPad or some other tablet packed with navigation apps.
Standard Horizon’s HX-300 handheld VHF offers a lot of radio in a small floating package, making it a good example of a product in which less is more.

SOS in the Digital Age

by Adam Cort, Posted June 11, 2012
Like GPS, the emergency position-indicating radio beacons, or EPIRBs, that first came to market in the 1980s seemed nothing less than a miracle. But that didn’t stop manufacturers from continuing to refine them in an effort to make them that much more effective. 
SiriusXM Satellite Radio now provides marine forecast information that can be received via select chartplotters from Lowrance, Furuno, Raymarine and Simrad. Sailors can access a similar service from XM Weather using Garmin’s GXM system.

A Personal Rescue Beacon

by Adam Cort, Posted June 8, 2012
ACR’s ResQLink personal locator beacon weighs just 5.4oz, measures 4.5in long, and features an integrated 66-channel GPS, which allows it to include a position fix in the digital 406MHz distress message it sends to rescuers via the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite constellations.
The NavNet TZtouch multifunction display from Furuno is packed with useful new features, including a Wi-Fi lash-up to smartphones and tablets. The touch-screen controls respond instantly to multi-gesture commands, while an improved RotoKey dial lets the user switch between touch-screen or twist-and-push modes.
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